Looking for a keynote speaker, a gala or dinner speaker, a conference facilitator or for someone who will uplift and motivate an audience, well we’ve got some inspiring women who can do the job. Have a look through our list below and contact Lola: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contessa choose flying as a 10 year old in response to the generic question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We covered a few ideas; Firefighter, police officer, doctor, lawyer, and pilot. A false romantic picture was painted and that was it, she was hooked!
She joined the Air Cadets which became the breeding ground for a passion that continues today. Her employment path went from flight instructing, cargo, and private corporate flying to Captain with Jazz Aviation and then onto Air Canada. As well, Contessa is remains involved with the 99s, Canadian Women in Aviation, the Northern Lights Aero Foundation, among other industry volunteer efforts.
Contessa feels extremely fortunate to have chosen a career in aviation where she has been personally touched by the remarkable pioneers and outstanding leaders who have significantly contributed to the success of many women in the industry.
Captain Jackie Book
Captain Book is a military pilot with the RCAF. Jackie began flying while enrolled in the Commercial Aviation Management Program at Western University in 1998, where she became a graduate of the first graduating class in 2003.
After graduation, Jackie was hired at Empire Aviation to instruct the Western program where she worked until joining the RCAF the following year.
After two years of training on the Harvard and King Air, Jackie was selected to go to 436 Squadron and fly the CC-130 Hercules in Trenton, ON. There, she became a tactical pilot, flying numerous missions in the Arctic, Greenland, Europe, as well as multiple deployments to the Middle East.
In 2011 Jackie was blessed with twin boys, and the following year was transferred to Portage la Prairie where she worked as a flight instructor and Course Director for Multi-Engine School (3CFFTS).
In 2016 Jackie was transferred back to 436 Squadron to fly the new J-Model C-130 Hercules.
Judy became the first female pilot hired by Air Canada, Canada’s largest airline, on April 1978 at the age of 23. She was the first woman to graduate from Selkirk College’s Aviation Technology Program in 1975. Throughout her flying career of 40 years and over 23,000 hours, she has flown the DC-3, Twin Otter, Hawker Siddeley 748, DC-9, Lockheed 1011, Airbus 320, Boeing 767 and 777 to the far corners of the world. She retired in 2015, and then fulfilled a lifelong dream by taking an aerobatics course. Judy is an inspirational speaker and has volunteered to work with the Canadian Women in Aviation conference, Dreams Take Flight, and Wings of Courage. In 2015, she received the Elsie MacGill Northern Lights award in the Flight Operations category, and in 2016 was chosen by the 99s to be on its Canadian postage stamp.
Kathy Fox selected air traffic control as a career in 1974, and worked at Transport Canada control towers in Baie-Comeau, Sept-Îles, Saint-Hubert and Montréal-Dorval, as well as at the Montréal Area Control Centre.
From 1982 until 1986 she was in charge of air traffic control training at the CEGEP Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a cooperative training program coordinated by Transport Canada and the Quebec Ministry of Education.
Kathy then left operational controlling and worked with Air Traffic Services Headquarters in Ottawa. Shortly thereafter, she transferred to NAV CANADA where she had a number of senior roles in Safety & Quality and Air Traffic Services, ultimately becoming Vice-President, Operations.
As Vice-President, Operations, she was responsible for providing executive leadership and direction throughout NAV CANADA's Operations Group. After retiring from NAV CANADA, Kathy was appointed to the Transportation Safety Board and currently serves as its Chair.
Kathy is the recipient of many prestigious awards including the Fédération Aéronautique Iinternationale Paul Tissandier Diploma, the Queen Elizabeth II Anniversary Medal, the Elsie MacGill Northern Lights Award and the David Charles Abramson Memorial Flight Instructor Safety Award, recognizing her exceptional leadership and devotion to the advancement of Canadian aviation safety. As well, Kathy has been inducted into the Quebec Air and Space Hall of Fame, Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame and the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame
She has been extensively involved in other aviation activities for over 50 years, including sport parachuting and commercial aviation. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate, has flown over 5000 hours and still flies part-time as an instructor.
Cathy Fraser is a captain on the B787 at Air Canada. Prior to her airline career, she flew corporate, charter and cargo flights. She also worked as a flight instructor and designated flight test examiner. She has been a Ninety-Nine for 30 years and has been a past governor of the East Canada Section as well as an Amelia Earhart scholarship recipient. Other associations include ISA and Women in Aviation. Cathy is a past organizer of the biennial Canadian Women in Aviation conference and is currently a board member of the Northern Lights Aero Foundation.
Claire Lemiski lives and breathes aviation. While completing a degree in Aviation and Geography at Trinity Western University, she took summer jobs as a ramp attendant, dispatcher and skydive pilot. Claire then joined Bombardier Aerospace as a participant in the Graduate Development Program, and subsequently in Q Series Flight Test Engineering, conducting tests for new part functionality, electromagnetic compatibility, engineering investigations, product enhancement, and performance. Keen to move from the jumpseat to the pilot’s seat, Claire earned her Dash 8 Q400 type endorsement and flew Bombardier’s corporate shuttle between Montreal and Toronto. She holds an Airline Transport Pilot License and is now a captain with Porter Airlines.
In addition to the Northern Lights Aero Foundation, Claire is actively involved with The Ninety-Nines, Canadian Women in Aviation, and Women Soar at Porter. She is passionate about providing mentorship and encouragement to new and aspiring pilots.
In 2015, Claire received the Elsie MacGill Northern Lights Aero Foundation Rising Star Award
Eva Martinez embodies a lifelong passion for aerospace and aviation. A former air cadet and a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada, Eva holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree with a specialty in Aerospace. Before retiring as a Major in 2002, Eva worked as an Aeronautical Engineer in the Royal Canadian Air Force and has since been working in the aviation, aerospace, and defence sector.
Fluent in English, French and Spanish, Eva was actively involved in various committees for the militaries of North, Central and South America throughout her military career. Eva helped the Chilean Air Force and the Guatemalan Army with the integration of women into their respective militaries. Most notably, Eva participated in the United Nations Mission to Guatemala (MINUGUA) as Canada’s first female military observer as part of an international contingent responsible for overseeing a ceasefire following the end of a 36-year old civil war.
Eva is the Vice President for Women in Aerospace Canada and actively serves on many boards including the Defence Industry Advisory Group (DIAG), the Advisory Council for the Best Defence Conference, and the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum (ACAM). In the past, Eva has served on the Board of the Atlantic Canada Aerospace and Defence Associations (ACADA) – an organization focused on advancing the Atlantic Provinces’ aerospace, marine and defence industries – chairing the Innovation Committee; and the Business Development Committee for the Canadian Aerospace and Defence Industry Association (CADSI). True to her roots as a former air cadet, Eva has also served on the Board of Governors for the National Air Cadet League and the Ontario Provincial Committee.
In 2014, Eva received the Elsie MacGill Northern Lights Aero Foundation Business Award in recognition of outstanding women in aviation and aerospace that, as role models, inspire and encourage increased participation in these industries by promoting awareness of the vast opportunities in all sectors.
In 2017, Eva was featured in hErVOLUTION’s 150 Days of Canadian Women in STEM initiative as part of Canada’s 150th celebrations. In 2016, Eva was selected as one of the Top 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians and was featured in Esprit de Corps’ “Breaking Down the Barricades: Women in the Defence World” as one of 20 prominent women in the defence sector. Eva was the 2014 recipient of the Halton Industry Education Council (HIEC) Partnership award for inspiring youth to make informed career decisions. In 2012, she was named a Canadian Diversity Champion by Women of Influence.
Weaving in her own personal experiences, Eva can speak to topics such as Women in Non-Traditional Roles, Leadership, Diversity in Aerospace & Defence, and STEM.
Lynne McMullen is Chair of the School of Aviation at Seneca College in Toronto and Peterborough. Within this portfolio she oversees Diploma programs in Aviation Operations and Aviation Safety, the Bachelor of Aviation Technology (BAT) and a Graduate Certificate in Airline Pilot Flight Operations. Lynne was instrumental in developing and establishing a unique partnership program with the Canadian Department of National Defence in which select, qualified Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) pilot candidates complete the BAT simultaneously earning their RCAF wings.
She is directly involved with student recruitment and industry relations which includes developing employment opportunities and internships. Lynne worked closely with Jazz Aviation to develop a direct entry cadet program for BAT graduates. She graduated social sciences at Western University in London Ontario and holds an ATPL and Class I flight instructor rating. Lynne has instructed and tested in the classroom and cockpit for over 18 years.
She is President of Collegiate Aviation Canada, Vice Chair of the AABI board of trustees, member of the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) and UAA, serving on various committees with each. Lynne has presented at the ATAC AGM and spring conferences, WATs, AABI and UAA.
In 2014, Lynne received the Elsie MacGill Northern Lights Aero Foundation Education Award.
Since childhood, Shreya has been inspired by the sight of flying vessels and the marvel of harnessing energy from our natural environment to enable flight. Driven by that inspiration, she completed her bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Ryerson University, Toronto in 2014.
Her professional journey in the industry began as an intern at a landing gear component manufacturer, where she realized her underlying passion for quality and aviation safety. Following the completion of bachelor’s degree, her employment path traversed from being a quality engineer and lead auditor to an aircraft safety specialist. She led multiple supplier audits for manufacturing organizations and successfully led the ISO 9001 / AS 9100 certification projects for a start-up corporation. Subsequently, in 2015, she joined Bombardier Aerospace as an airworthiness engineer where she was involved in the Type Certification & Validation of Global 5500/6500 business jets, multiple Continuing Airworthiness projects, and played a critical role in ensuring safety and airworthiness of Global business jets currently in service.
Outside her professional life, Shreya is a PADI certified Open Water Diver and a nature lover. When not travelling, you can often find her hitting smashes on the tennis court or being immersed in a strategic board game with family and friends.
Niloofar Moradi earned her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Concordia University in 2010 and launched her career at Rolls-Royce Canada in the energy sector. Drawn to aerospace, Moradi later joined Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) where she has been involved in many aspects of gas turbine development such as aerodynamics, mechanical design and currently project engineering; from research and turbine component design to engine development and managing pre/post certification design changes. In 2016, concurrent with her design work at P&WC, Moradi earned her Master’s degree from École de Technologie Supérieure. Passionate and ambitious, Moradi has worked on several P&WC engines including the PT6C-67A, powering the AW609 Tiltrotor.
Moradi’s dedication to encouraging and creating new opportunities for the next generation of engineers keeps her ever engaged with the engineering community. She is a member of the Industrial Advisory Board of the MIA Engineering department of Concordia University and the Aerospace sub-committee of the Palais des Congrès de Montréal. She continues to work with charitable organizations such as Dress for Success and L’envol. In 2018, Moradi was named the Young Alumnus/Alumna of the Year by Concordia University and received the Engineering Award from the Elsie MacGill Northern Lights foundation. She was also named as one of the Wings Magazine 2018 Agents of Change, Top 20 Under 40. Moradi has acted as a guest speaker and panelist for events organized by ICAO, CASI, Concordia U., and Ottawa U. In addition to her work and volunteer activities, she is an avid traveler and a passionate scuba diver.
As president and owner of Apex Aircraft Sales Ltd., Anna has over 25 years of experience negotiating hundreds of aircraft sales. She has been flying since 1977 and holds a multi-engine, commercial, instrument and float rating. She earned a degree in Economics from York University in 1985 and a second BA in Humanities in 2002. Anna is a member of AOPA, COPA, the International Organization of Women Pilots, The Ninety-Nines, Women in Aerospace Canada, and Women in Aviation International.
Lola Reid Allin
When Canada’s first aerobatic team, the Golden Hawks, whirled through the sky near her hometown, Lola wanted to be one of those pilots, spearing through the clouds, punching a hole in the sky. But. Her parents said, “Don’t be silly. Only men can be pilots.”
At age 24—the same age as Amelia Earhart when she learned to fly—Lola realized her dream.
Six years later, she held an ATPL and a Class I instructor rating. She flew the bush of BC and Northern Ontario on Beech 18S on floats and Piper Chieftains. Working with the Ontario Government, Lola was the first Canadian woman to fly the Twin Otter DHC6/300. Lola was the first female CFI at the Waterloo-Wellington Flight Centre, a Flight Test Examiner, and the recipient of WWFC’s Alumni of Distinction Award 2020. She is recognized on the Women in Aviation Wall, Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, Sault Sainte Marie.
In 1993, Lola became addicted to Slow Travel. She relocated to Mexico’s Yucatan where she lived for three years with the Maya and worked as a SCUBA Dive Master. She’s enjoyed multi-day solo camel safaris (Tanzania & Morocco), earned her Dog Mushers Certificate (Yukon), trekked much of the world including Peru’s Inca Trail (42 km), Guatemala’s El Mirador Jungle (128 km), & Canada’s Akshayuk Pass, Baffin Island (98 km), and summited the tallest peaks in Africa: Kilimanjaro, world’s highest freestanding mountain (Tanzania) & Djebel Toubkal (Morocco), North Africa’s tallest mountain.
She is an accomplished photographer and writer whose work has appeared in National Post, Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, The Rotarian, The Smithsonian, National Geographic, Mexican National Tourism Brochures, Mundo Maya, Photographers without Borders, & Skies Magazine (Women in Aviation). She has a BA (Waterloo, Psychology & Anthropology) and is a member of Rotary, WAI, & the 99s (FCC). She meshes her varied careers, adventures, and years of public speaking at libraries, galleries, schools, and hotels to the general public, photography clubs, flight school students, 99s, and Air Cadets to create dynamic presentations, live or via internet.